Specialty Fabrics Review June 2020 - 30

EXPLAINING
PERFORMANCE
TO CUSTOMERS
omestyle Custom Upholstery in Milwaukee, Wis.,
offers upholstery services for a
variety of needs, from marine
interiors and exteriors to vehicles and furniture. The business
has recently seen an increase in
renovation projects for hotels,
bars and restaurants along with
more contract sewing jobs, including screwdriver pouches for the
military, dump covers for hospitals, seat covers for a traveling
theater and large Gaylord (pallet
box) covers, according to Lynette
Schneider, who owns Homestyle
with her husband, Larry.
How does the company help
customers choose the best performing fabric for their specific
application?
"The Wyzenbeek abrasion rating
is important to explain material
wearability to consumers," Schneider says. "Then material content-
polyester, nylon, cotton-helps a
customer make an educated decision for their environment."
For their home upholstery customers, J & J Custom Design of
Jacksonville, Fla., often suggests
performance fabrics that are stain
resistant and cleanable with soap
and water.
"For our marine customers
we suggest high-quality stretchable vinyl that resists pinking or
solution-dyed canvases that resist
fading," owner Jo Ann Greco says.

Ont., Canada, Morbern is a designer
and manufacturer of decorative vinyl
upholstery for the contract, health
care, hospitality, automotive, trucking,
transportation and marine markets.
"The ease of cutting, sewing and
tailoring is paramount," Weaver says.
"To meet tailorability requirements,
our products have to meet guidelines
for strength, stretch, consistency and
weight. Previously, our product was used
in low-stretch applications. Now, all parts
of an application-for example, a fully
upholstered seat-are covered with our
product. Being able to tailor around
tight radii is an essential characteristic
of our products."
The result of this emphasis on
performance? Fabricators have better
options for their customers. Jo Ann Greco,
who owns J & J Custom Design LLC in
Jacksonville, Fla., with her husband, John,
says that today's upholstery fabrics are
longer lasting due to stain resistance and
they have a better "hand" to them-quite
simply, they feel more luxurious.
"We can see the evolution to more
and better colors, different patterns, so
that the color variations and patterning
are changing along with the performance
characteristics of the fabrics," Greco says.
Robert Burkart, co-owner of Sewline
Upholstery Ltd. in Medicine-Hat, Alta.,
Canada, agrees that fabric is ever evolving.
"There are some amazing fabrics out
there that you would never know have
performance qualities, plus they are
budget-friendly," he says. "We've had new
books this year from companies that are
completely blowing it out of the water with
the quality and pricing they are putting out."
ON TREND
New performance characteristics within
the upholstery market often happen in
response to larger interior and exterior
design and decor trends. For example,
the "resimercial" design trend (residential

plus commercial; i.e., bringing the
comforts of home into the workplace)
affects upholstery needs for hospitality,
contract and office environments.
"Consumers want these commercial
spaces to feel more like home," Flack says.
The "open office" trend-intended
to improve morale, communication
and productivity-brought about some
unintended consequences. While
performance upholstery fabric can't
put an end to your coworker's constant
personal phone calls, a fabric with
acoustical features can help you from
overhearing them. Woven fabric serves
as one of the best surface materials for
these types of applications, Duval says.
Under Duvaltex's Guilford of Maine
brand, the company offers a variety of
acoustical fabrics, including FR701®,
which was recently refreshed with
a new line of saturated colors.
MAKE IT EASY
Consumers have become aware of what
constitutes "exceptional" in terms of
functionality and performance, and
the challenge of meeting changing
expectations is continuous, Weaver says.
For example, cleaning with soap and
water was acceptable in the past. Now,
upholstery fabrics have to withstand harsh
cleaners and disinfectant, he says.
"Every yard we manufacture is coated
for the performance requirements of
Morbern's customers," Weaver says.
"When a product leaves our facility,
it is maintenance free from a coating
perspective, as our customers need not
apply or reapply any finishes. The only
maintenance required is the cleaning of
the product, and that is deemed at the
customer's discretion."
For some fabrics, Duvaltex offers
coatings and chemical finishes that
can be applied to enhance performance
based on testing requirements and/or
customer needs.

30 REVIEW JUNE 2020

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Specialty Fabrics Review June 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Specialty Fabrics Review June 2020

Specialty Fabrics Review June 2020 - Cover1
Specialty Fabrics Review June 2020 - Cover2
Specialty Fabrics Review June 2020 - 1
Specialty Fabrics Review June 2020 - 2
Specialty Fabrics Review June 2020 - 3
Specialty Fabrics Review June 2020 - 4
Specialty Fabrics Review June 2020 - 5
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Specialty Fabrics Review June 2020 - 7
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Specialty Fabrics Review June 2020 - Cover3
Specialty Fabrics Review June 2020 - Cover4
Specialty Fabrics Review June 2020 - IFAI Expo Brochure 1
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